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Monday, August 07, 2006

Compaq's Systempros lean into 486 power curve Vintage Computer Manuals

Computerworld July 23 ,2990

Compaq's Systempros lean into 486 power curve

Compaq Computer Corp. revved up it Systempro series to full 486 power and fleshed out it Extended Standard Architecture (EISA) desktop line with an upgradeable introduction last week.

Comapq delivered on its promise of Intel Corp I486 dual processor power , delivering Systempro models based on the 33-Mhz 486 chips as a 486 upgrade board for the few Systempros that have sold with Intel 80386 CPUs.

The 486 booster comes about a month later than promised , according to a new product manager Lorie Strong. Design and testing delays held up the debut, she said. The lag also may have retarded Systempro sales , observers added.

"If I were putting in a Systempro, I would not dream of putting in anything but a 486," Seymour Merrin, president of Merrin Information Systems , Inc. in Palo Alto , Calif. "I think you'll see a substancial pickup once the 486 is out." As of May , only 2,543 Systempros had been sold through U.S. computer speciality stores according to Starboard /Computer Intelligence in Dallas (

The native 486 systems will ship wiht 240M-,420M- and 840M-byte disk drive arrays and will cost $ 20,999 , $ 23,999 and $ 29,999 repectively. The upgrade board costs $ 6,999. Shipments are scheduled to begin this month.

Through Comapq cut prices on the 386-based Systempros by 12% to 15 % , the company says that it expects the native486 models to be better sellers in the long term, Shinderpal jandu said.

The company also promised a storeage boost within the next 12 months that will jack disk capacities from the current 1.68 bytes to over 10 G bytes. "Our long-term direction is to provide over 40G of storeage." said Mike Swavely, Compaq president for North America.

Analysts said increased storeage is essential to the success of the line. "If Compaq wants to position the Systempro as a network server , it has to support substancial amounts of storeage," said Micheal Goulde , vice-president of Open Systems Advisor , a consulting firm and newsletter publisher.

Compaq also announced two Deskpro machines based on EISA. One , the deskpro 386/33L allows users to swap the 33-Mbz 386 CPU , for a 3 MHZ 486 board. The upgrade module costs approximately the same as the diffirence between the two prices of the 386/33L and the Deskpro 486/33L which also debuted last week.

In the past , Compaq has criticized the concept of upgradable personal computers offered by some of its competitiros . Upgrading he CPU rather than buying a whole new box leaves users with a mongrel machine hampered by slower disk drives and memory components, Comapq said.

Despite the new upgradeable Deskpro Compaq is sticking to its guns- sort of "We woul still be resisitant to upgrading over a broad range," from an Intel 80286 to a 486 for example , Strong said . "Then you's be so out of whack in the size of the machine and the drives."

The Deskpro 486 /33L ships with 120M- , 320M- and 650M- byte hard drives and is priced at $ 13,999 , $ 16,499 and $ 19,499 respectively. The 386/33L ships with the same drive configuration and costs from $ 9,999 to $ 15,499

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